Skip to main content Skip to bottom nav

How do I know if I'm sad or depressed?

339 Answers
Last Updated: 11/19/2020 at 9:56pm
How do I know if I'm sad or depressed?
★ This question about Depression was starred by a moderator on 5/12/2016.
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Shawn Wilson, LCSW

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

I provide supportive counseling and psychotherapy. I utilize cognitive-behavioral and solution focused strategies to address client concerns. Personal coaching is available.

Top Rated Answers
June 25th, 2015 7:24am
Depression is more than sadness. Depression is feeling lost, lonely, scared, agitated. Feeling melancholic is a lot less complex.
June 25th, 2015 6:03pm
Depression and sadness can be connected. Depression occurs frequently and lasts for months where sadness can come and go.
June 25th, 2015 6:11pm
I am not with sophisticated methods in understanding human emotions. To me being sad is more short and isolated state while depression is a longer and continuous state.
June 26th, 2015 12:12am
When sadness is "just" an emotion, depression is more considered as a state, the major difference being that a state longs when an emotion doesn't. If you're just sad you're going to feel better at some point within the next minutes/hours/days depending on how sad you are. You can find things to cheer you up -anything that usually works for you. If it last more than a few days and if nothing you try makes you feel better, you can start suspecting a depression. Therefore sadness usually comes from a specific situation -not all the time but mostly. If you're depressed you might not be able to understand what exactly is making you feel bad.
June 26th, 2015 3:38am
depression and sadness can seem similar but they really aren't, sadness can only last up to a few days at max, depression on the other hand will linger and make you feel down all the time
June 26th, 2015 6:27am
When you feel distant, feeling like you have no purpose on this world, wanting to die or something..
June 26th, 2015 2:16pm
You have difficulty falling asleep at night, you often feel tired and run-down, you often feel that life is not worth living, you sometimes feel out of control and lose all good judgement, you have trouble concentrating or remembering things, you think that sadness and disappointment are a regular part of life, and that "happy" people are only deceiving themselves, you have any chronic pain, headaches, etc. that are not due to a known illness.
June 26th, 2015 4:39pm
If Its sadness, I will not be able to smile or laught, and if its depression, I'll hide my feeling behind my family face(just a mask of smile).
June 26th, 2015 8:49pm
I diagnoses from a trained professional is the only way to know for sure, but there's a pretty good test on 7 cups :)
- Expert in Depression
June 26th, 2015 9:28pm
you can do a depression test on 7cups. It will help you to understand what you are feeling and it will make everything a bit easier. But when youre thinking about killing yourself, then youre obviously depressed.
June 27th, 2015 7:01am
Depression seems to be a state when 'hope' goes absent, when life feels disgusting for whole of 24hrs, when one feel like they can't have fun in anything anymore.
June 27th, 2015 1:36pm
Being in the state of depression is much worse than being sad. Usually people get sad when it is raining outside, when their cat died or something like that. Depression is a medical condition that can be treated in many ways depending on the person's feelings, I guess. Sadness would go away very quickly, though depression is very much more painful and it takes time to make it go away.
June 27th, 2015 3:45pm
يمكنني التغلب على كل المشاكل النفسية , بأستخدام التفكير المنطقي , وجعل الهدف في الحياة ليس العيش فقط , و إنما اكثر من ذلك ..
June 27th, 2015 10:13pm
When you are depressed you are Feeling numb all the time. You don't care about anything anymore. I can stare at the wall for hours without moving once. When you are sad you have feelings, but only like sad/depressing ones.
June 27th, 2015 11:03pm
Clinical depression is best diagnosed by a mental health professional who would ask you about the severity and length of your symptoms, in addition to delivering therapy/counseling. You can also discuss it with your GP.
June 28th, 2015 3:13am
Sadness is a severe pain related to being sorrow, feeling alone and helpless, which results from negative outcomes. . .Sadness can be viewed as a temporary lowering of mood, whereas depression is more chronic. Depression is a state of low mood. . .Depressed people may feel sad, anxious, empty, hopeless, worried, helpless, worthless, guilty, irritable, hurt, or restless. They may lose interest in activities that once were pleasurable, experience loss of appetite or overeating, have problems concentrating, remembering details, or making decisions, and may contemplate or attempt suicide. Insomnia, excessive sleeping, fatigue, loss of energy, or aches, pains, or digestive problems that are resistant to treatment may also be present.
Anonymous - Expert in Depression
June 28th, 2015 7:34am
Depression affects you physically, mentally and emotionally. Your sleep, diet, thoughts and health change. And you tend to be sad for long periods of time - the suggested time is longer than 2 weeks
June 28th, 2015 1:59pm
Depression will last longer than just general sadness. A person might be sad for a day or a month due to any reason byt depression is a state of mind. It often persists for a very long time and brings along the repulsiveness to do anything from taking a bath to eating to getting up from bed. Depression might lead the affected person to have suicidal thoughts or no thoughts at all which is seldom the case if a person is just the sad. Depression includes sadness but sadness doesn't include depression.
June 28th, 2015 8:10pm
You should know. Depression is a hard disease. Maybe you could speak it with a psychologist or specialist.
June 28th, 2015 10:15pm
Depression is not just sadness, it's also feeling that you don't wanna do anything, don't feel motivated, don't have appetite, etc. If you think you're experiencing depression, talk with a professional.
July 1st, 2015 2:56am
Depression, for me, doesn't end. When I'm sad, I can feel it. I scream or cry, the loneliness is real. When I'm depressed though, I lack everything. I can't feel happy, or sad, or angry. I am just barely existing.
July 1st, 2015 3:35am
Depression is a feeling that lingers. Sadness comes and goes, but depression is a feeling that stays there in the back of your mind, even when you think you're being happy and having fun. It's something that's really hard to get rid of, even when you think you're fine.
July 1st, 2015 11:10am
Symptoms of depression aren't just being sad. It's also feelings of emptiness, boredom, and the loss of enjoyment of thimga you used to love doing. If you are experiencing any of the above for more than two weeks, consider talking to friends, family, and of course your doctor.
July 1st, 2015 3:58pm
when u think about some that gets you down and in a while you just forget what made u feel low and upset..
July 1st, 2015 9:24pm
Sadness is an adaptive human emotion. It shows that we care about stuff. It helps us prioritize and make decisions based on our best interest. The sadness we feel from loneliness can motivate us to go out and look for someone. We feel it when we lose people we care about and it shows us how much they mattered to us. In the end, as painful as it is, it demonstrates that life was worth it. Depression is not like that. Depression is maladaptive. It is not simply an emotion that will pass by itself. Depression seeps into your whole being. It weighs you down and makes you feel sluggish and tired. It messes with your sleep and your appetite. It stops you from doing things and caring about things. It makes you wish you could feel sad so you could stop feeling empty. It makes you feel like you have nothing, or that you are nothing, even though this is never true. It doesn't push us to solve our problems like loneliness, it pushes us to wallow in them. It takes away your motivation to do anything about it. In this way, it is a silent killer. If you ever feel depression, please go to a doctor. Unlike sadness, depression isn't a normal part of life and it won't always go away on its own.
July 2nd, 2015 12:45am
Great question! Depression is a deeper feeling and has more actions that go with it's feeling. You will know if you're depressed if you recieve any of these symptoms; loss of appetite, increase of appetite, sleeping more, sleeping less, suicidal thoughts, self harm, laziness, any many more symptoms. The most distinctive thing about depression is when you're just not happy about ANYTHING.
July 2nd, 2015 4:17am
Wen I was wondering if I was depressed or just sad, it helped to do some research and read up on feeling depressed. That way, I could better determine what I was feeling through learning about the difference between sadness and depression.
July 2nd, 2015 10:01am
Sadness is a normal human emotion and you know you'll be happy again. With depression there is an absence of this hope that you will be happy again.
July 2nd, 2015 3:51pm
You can always try seeking professional help from a psychiatrist, that is if your family is supportive, otherwise it might create more problems..
July 2nd, 2015 8:13pm
Depression is a constant thing, It will not leave you alone, you may start feeling more drowsy, unaware of how you are treating people. If you are sad, it may take you longer to realise how to start to treat people, but you do realise it. With depression you push people away constantly until they refuse to come back, then you realise you are alone with your depression and it will hurt, it will hurt very badly. This answer is not to scare you, more to make you aware of some of the things. The most important thing is: sometimes you may want to tell people about this depression, then realise you shouldn't. This is something that makes it hard for people to realise, please, if this continues, seek professional help.